The fact that people struggling with drug addiction often attempt to “beat” drug tests is not a new phenomenon. However, after consuming a drug, attempting to pass a drug test isn’t just risky; it’s often unsuccessful, detectable, and highly dangerous. One of the latest methods is known as a “baking soda bomb.” Unproven and potentially lethal, baking soda bombs are being used in South Dakota by meth users seeking a clean urine test.
Baking Soda Bombs & Drug Tests
Baking soda bombs are concocted from a mixture of water, bleach, and baking soda. People addicted to methamphetamine are swallowing this dangerous combination, hoping that it will result in a negative drug test. They believe that sodium bicarbonate, the primary agent in baking soda, will mask the presence of meth in their urine. However, although a small amount of baking soda can calm indigestion, there is no proof that it will disguise the existence of meth in a drug test specimen. And when you combine it with bleach, you’re taking a great health risk. The fact that people attempt this method despite its many risks demonstrates the severity of the addiction and the extreme lengths to which people will go in order to hide it.
There is no proof that baking soda bombs are effective in cleaning drugs out of the body’s systems, and an analysis of the pH of a urine sample can detect the presence of an alkaline adulterant like baking soda. Medical experts have stated that baking soda bombs are highly unsafe and potentially lethal. In addition to more dire risks, they produce several adverse side effects – stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea, etc. – that can alert the testing collector, employer, or a probation/court officer that something is amiss.
Although this technique has surfaced in Mitchell, South Dakota, it has likely been attempted around the United States. It is impossible to know how many people have tried baking soda bombs, as they aren’t likely to mention it to officials.
Methamphetamine Use in the U.S.
Drug use is on the rise in South Dakota, increasing by 12.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, and meth use is very prevalent. As a result of this drug use, many non-violent drug offenders are being sentenced to presumptive probation instead of prison, and they must undergo urinalysis tests regularly to comply with the court and prove their sobriety – hence the emergence of baking soda bombs.
Although the opioid epidemic has been the focus of the public’s attention for a while now, meth use rates are rising as well. From 2014 to 2015 (the most recent year with federal data available), there was a 30 percent jump in Americans who died of a meth overdose – from 3,700 in 2014 to 4,900 in 2015 (source). This spike is deeply concerning.
Methamphetamines garner less attention than opioids, perhaps because they kill more slowly and at lower rates (source), but in some states the use of meth is rising at an extremely high rate. In addition, some states are confronting a meth epidemic in addition to the opioid epidemic. These include South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Iowa (source). In many of these states, meth is involved in more offenses than any other drug, and nearly half of all inmates are serving sentences due to drug-related offenses (source).
While meth addiction has plagued America for many years, it has grown in severity for several reasons. First, it is now being mass produced in Mexico, and drug cartels are pushing the drug further into at-risk communities. Second, the drug is often more potent and less expensive than in years past. Third, it lacks a proven medical treatment (source).
Adulteration of Drug Tests
Baking soda bombs certainly aren’t the only hazardous or risky method of adulteration used during drug tests. People will always try new techniques, unfortunately, and unsafe and ineffective methods will continue to be used by addicts who are desperate to evade detection.
If you’re hoping to protect your drug testing program from adulteration, contact Tomo Drug Testing for help. We can help you further explore your options, so that you can select a testing methodology that reflects your wants, your needs, your concerns, and your budget. With our corporate office based in Springfield, Missouri, we offer customized solutions to make drug testing simple, and our nationwide network of clinics and providers allows Tomo Drug Testing to be available anytime, anywhere. For a free needs analysis, give us a call today at 1-888-379-7697 or contact us online. We would be happy to help!